This is the heading of an article posted in an online newspaper, Canberra Times, and comes out of Australia by reporter Breanna Tucker. It seems the Australians are having the same concerns, and controversies, regarding teaching handwriting to students as we are in the U.S.
“Children who rely on computers to complete school work are in danger of developing a fear of using pen and paper, a new report shows,” reported Tucker.
She cites the Pilot Pen Australia Creativity Report that suggests students are becoming scared of handwritten tasks as there is no spelling or grammar check tool to pick up their mistakes as they go along.
But the study also found that those who used keyboards were slower and produced essays of a much lower standard. Interesting conflict, isn’t it?
As reported by Tucker in her article, Kimberley O’Brien, a child psychologist and a key author of the report, said that the increasing reliance on technology was severely eroding student confidence. ”Children who develop this kind of dependency on computer software are less likely to write using a pen and paper given that they will feel a vulnerability to failure,” O’Brien said.
A study of 300 children in the 5th and 6th grade found handwritten essays were completed significantly faster and contained a higher standard of sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, cohesion, ideas development and organization than those completed using keyboards.
Further study found that these students produced up to twice as many ideas writing on pen and paper as those on computers. Creative writing is believed to develop independent thoughts such as determination, curiosity, intuition and a preference for complex ideas.
O’Brien said children were most likely to develop their handwriting skills between the ages of eight and 10 and she urged all teachers and parents to ensure their children met community standards for legible handwriting.
This brings me directly to this suggestion: that children who are learning to write be given the best ergonomic and comfortable pen on the market – the UGLee Pen. It allows children to develop the fine motor skills required for handwriting, without discomfort or other difficulties. Your child will not only find handwriting pleasurable, but because of the comfort of handwriting using the UGLee Pen, legibility can be taught and practiced easily.